Packers: Why Not Kick the Tires on Gary Barnidge?

 
Green Bay could use another tight end, so why not Gary Barnidge?  You won’t find his name on most free agent lists because he sat out the 2017 season despite being healthy. The Cleveland Browns unceremoniously dumped Barnidge the day after they drafted TE David Njoku with the 29th pick in the 2017 draft.  The NFL is indeed a cold-hearted business.
 
Since Barnidge had been on the roster through April, Cleveland already owed him $700K.  Perhaps surprisingly, Barnidge reportedly only received offers for the veteran minimum of $900K during the 2017 offseason.  Green Bay was not one of the teams reported to have been interested in Barnidge, but that may have been because the team had already signed Martellus Bennet and Lance Kendricks to deals that included signing bonuses.  It may be that Barnidge had an offset clause in his contract, so signing with another team for $900K meant he would only earn $200K extra for playing 16 NFL games plus Training Camp and practices. Perhaps in a fit of rationality, he declined to subject his body to such rigors for such a small amount. 
 
Barnidge has earned somewhere between $10M and $11M in his career, so $200K, as nice a sum as it may seem to us, might realistically not have been worth the pounding his body would have taken had he played in 2017.
 
Barnidge will turn 33 this September.  In 2015, he caught 79 passes for 1043 yards, a 13.2 yard average, 9 TDs, with Josh McGown at QB.  Mike Pettine was Cleveland’s Head Coach.  In 2016, Barnridge caught 55 passes for 612 yards, an 11.1 yard average, and 2 TDs, with Cody Kessler at QB.  It was Hue Jackson’s first season as Head Coach, and he also operated as Offensive Coordinator.  DC Mike Pettine should be able to contribute a personal report regarding Gary Barnidge.
 
Barnidge would not command much more than the veteran minimum salary, with little or no signing bonus.  He should be healthy.  Barnridge has been considered a significant receiving threat in his prior seasons.  Lance Kendricks sports a $2.225M cap hit with $600K dead, which results in a $1.625M cap savings if he were released.  Barnidge’s cap hit would easily fit under Kendricks’ cap savings number.  Whether Barnidge replaces Kendricks or competes with him and/or a possible draft pick is up to the coaches and front office.  Maybe there is some other reason no team came knocking after Cleveland released him last year?  
 
Why not kick the tires on Gary Barnidge?
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Comments (24)

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4thand1's picture

April 02, 2018 at 05:25 pm

Kick all the tires you can. We can have 90 guys in TC which means 37 won't be signed.

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The TKstinator's picture

April 02, 2018 at 05:34 pm

Not a FREE agent, but sure sounds like an affordable one. Why not, indeed?

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TheVOR's picture

April 03, 2018 at 09:17 am

I'm thinking they should consider drafting Mark Andrews or Gesicki in the 3rd-round-ish. See who's left standing by then..

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hodge555's picture

April 02, 2018 at 05:41 pm

And as he was released by Cleveland then there is no draft pick compensation involved.

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CAG123's picture

April 02, 2018 at 05:55 pm

Yeah why not kick the tires on a 33 year old one year wonder that hasn’t produced in 3 years?! The Packers have good enough depth with Graham, Kendricks, and if they resign Rodgers. They could also grab one in the draft. Are the Packers and Browns just going to continuously trade castoffs?

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snowdog's picture

April 02, 2018 at 06:04 pm

Cleveland is now GB East

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dobber's picture

April 02, 2018 at 07:39 pm

"Yeah why not kick the tires on a 33 year old one year wonder that hasn’t produced in 3 years?! "

His two best seasons were in the last 3, then he was out of football last year. His 2016 numbers (the lesser of his two better years) would have put him in the top 10 TEs in 2017. My greater concern is how important football is to him. I understand him fighting for what he believes is his value, but at his age sitting out a year was a bad idea.

After Kendricks played the way he did a year ago, I have no reason to believe he's going to help this team very much. Some might blame that on Hundley, but Kendricks just looked lost. I was one of those who believed he was the real find a year ago and not Bennett...it turned out it was neither.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

April 02, 2018 at 07:59 pm

Your post seems inaccurate. Barnridge had over a thousand yards 3 seasons ago (2015), over 600 yards 2 seasons ago, and sat out last season. I agree that he really has only two pretty good years while noting those 2 seasons came within the last few years. 12.7 career yards/reception. PFF wrote that Barnridge was the top TE at pass pro but he was a poor run blocker (50th among TEs) in 2016

I just thought Barnridge was an intriguing possibility with some upside and should come pretty cheap. Signing him would not dissuade me from drafting a TE this year. Pettine was his HC and Brian Angelichio was his TE coach in Cleveland, so they should be excellent resources to help assess Barnridge.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/pro-the-cleveland-browns-release-t...

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CAG123's picture

April 02, 2018 at 08:51 pm

Since when is 600 yards and 2 TDs production? You have to look at Hundley as the reason for Kendricks dismal year seeing as no other player really produced with him besides Adams. Why get rid of a younger faster TE that isn’t the best blocker for a older slower TE that doesn’t block? Kendricks is a good 2nd option behind Graham.
LK 2016 499 yards and 2 TD
GB 2016 600 and 2 TD one guy clearly overvalued themselves.

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flackcatcher's picture

April 02, 2018 at 10:13 pm

As you say TGR, it never hurts to look. I expect the Packers to draft or sign UDFA TE. They need fresh bodies for camp, but more importantly, they need good football players at that position, especially if they revert back to their 2014 2 back offense.

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John Kirk's picture

April 02, 2018 at 06:22 pm

I thought they should've reached out to him last year. Our TE coach coached him in Cleveland. Surprised he hasn't lobbied for him.

Or...Maybe, he knows Barnidge is a pain in the ... It was odd reading Barnidge decided to take the year off because he was low balled last season. DId he think he'd get better offers another year away and aged? Sound like there's something very off about that to me.

Anything to keep Richard Rodgers off the roster I'm all for.

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Lare's picture

April 02, 2018 at 07:06 pm

If he can improve on the speed at his position it's worth a try. Otherwise, the Packers already have too many slow players on the roster.

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4thand1's picture

April 02, 2018 at 08:03 pm

Anyone who can catch 79 passes for over a thousand yards with 9 td's in Cleveland at any time, is worth a look. What the hell, he should be healthy.

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Dean Ticks's picture

April 02, 2018 at 08:33 pm

He's worth a try. Need all the help offensively as possible. The TE position has been pretty underwhelming for quite some time, even with the Graham signing.

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CheesyTex's picture

April 02, 2018 at 10:50 pm

Will the Packers ever get a TE that can block?

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stockholder's picture

April 02, 2018 at 11:19 pm

I'd rather see Finley back on the field. Drafted in 2008. Rd. 3. Keith jackson 1995- 96. 6'2 ! Chewie 6'5" 6th round. A Favre favorite target. Graham FA - filled the Hole. Richard Rodgers? Could be signed just as well. Kick the Tires? Where do you guys get these ideas from? The guy is done. Pass!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

April 02, 2018 at 11:27 pm

Why not actaully target Lance Kendricks?

It seamed like he was barely utilized last year, even after Head Case was released. I suspect Rodgers will use the TE much better than Hundley.

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Tundraboy's picture

April 03, 2018 at 12:32 am

Can the Draft get here already. Or another significant FA signing out of left field.

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Donster's picture

April 03, 2018 at 07:05 am

Pack have Robert Tonyan and Emanuel Byrd on the roster as camp fodder. I expect they will re-sign Rogers. Draft a TE, and grab a few UFA's. They are spending a lot on Graham. So they will only pick up a veteran on the cheap.

If Barnidge is good enough for the Pack to sign, why didn't any of the other NFL teams bother to sign him? Sounds like he wants more than what he is worth.

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Community Guy's picture

April 03, 2018 at 08:20 am

given he coached Barnidge in Cleveland, i would think that Brian Angelichio, the Packers TE coach, would have the most say in the matter.

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dfarmer's picture

April 03, 2018 at 08:29 am

What's to lose??? Bring him in to compete with Kendricks, if he's the best keep him and save $$.. Sounds like a no brainer (on the surface)!!

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Johnblood27's picture

April 03, 2018 at 09:07 am

Why not bring in Colt Lyerla too?

No risk, all upside...

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Hawg Hanner's picture

April 03, 2018 at 01:27 pm

I think I'd keep Kendricks over Rogers and draft a TE.

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sherrmann1806's picture

May 12, 2018 at 11:59 am

i think signing him would be a very smart move! He catches well and blocks well! i'd say sign him!!

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